Research & Development


ITA-doctoral candidate wins the Hanns-Voith-Foundation Prize

ITA-Award winners in category “New materials” 2017 (Magdalena Kimm, first from left) and 2016 (Inga Noll, fourth from left) together with Prof. Dr Sigmar Wittig (second from left) and supervisor of the candidate 2017, Dr Markus Beckers (ITA, third from left), source: ITA
ITA-doctoral candidate Magdalena Kimm was awarded the Hanns-Voith-Foundation Prize 2017 for new materials in the amount of 5,000 EUR on 30 June 2017 in Heidenheim, Germany. Mrs. Kimm obtained the prize for her master thesis „Potential of polymer optical fibres for application in structural health monitoring of fiber reinforced composites“.

Within her thesis, Mrs. Kimm investigated how sensors made of polymer optical fibres can help to increase aircraft safety by simultaneously decreasing structural weight.

Fibre reinforced composites (FRC) have been used for several decades in aerospace (e.g. at Airbus A350, Boeing 787) and increasingly also in automotive. Nevertheless, damage control of FRC structures is still difficult and time-consuming: on the one hand this causes oversized FRC structures and on the other hand high it leads to downtime and maintenance costs. Reliable sensor systems which monitor the health of a structure online (Structural Health Monitoring) may reduce weight and costs significantly. Hence, long downtime of aircrafts for maintenance reasons would diminish and failure safety would rise.

Mrs. Kimm defined technological and economical requirements for sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. On this basis Mrs. Kimm analysed the suitability of polymer optical fibres by examining influence factors as costs, readiness for market and commercial availability. Additionally, she ran practical tests at ITA. Within the tests she produced a FRC structure with textile-integrated fibreoptic sensors. Therefore Mrs. Kimm proved completely automatable integrability of such sensors into the production process of FRC.

The Hanns-Voith-Foundation awards the Hanns-Voith-Foundation prizes for outstanding theses at universities for engineering, sciences and economics. In 2017, the jury chaired by Prof. Dr. Dr. e.h. Dr. h.c. mult. Sigmar Wittig awarded 6 prices for outstanding thesis papers.

The thesis has to bear topical reference to the group sector Voith Hydro, Voith Digital Solutions, Voith Paper and Voith Turbo and also to the functional areas economics or new materials. The universities entitled to a proposal assess the thesis as worthy for an award. The prizes shall highlight the responsibility of the Hanns Voith Foundation for the qualification of academic professionals and executives in public. Thereby, the Hanns-Voith-Foundation wants to make a contribution to research and education in Germany.

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